Fort Hood's 1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment is mourning the loss of two of its animal soldiers this week, horse Thunder and dog Buddy.

According to a Facebook post made Tuesday, Thunder died of a combination of old age and Cushing's disease. Thunder served the Horse Cavalry Detachment from 1991 to 2018.

"As the story goes, when he first came to the Detachment he could on command rear up and clash his front hooves together, creating a thunderous sound," according to the Facebook post. "His smooth gait was well known throughout the equine and military communities as he participated in many competitions. He was among the first mounts used in the Army's Hippotherapy research program that was conducted at the (horse detachment) and Ft. Sam Houston in 2004 for wounded veterans."

Staff Sgt. Buddy died Monday night after 14 years of service. Buddy was a mascot for the horse detachment and began serving in 2003 after being rescued from the side of the road.

A cavalry soldier "found him severely injured on the side of the highway while returning from a demonstration," the post said. "The Fort Hood veterinarians found that he was peppered with birdshot pellets and run over. Staff Sgt. Buddy quickly recovered, and became an instrumental part of the wagon team."

The division said Thunder and Buddy were the true essence of the cavalry.

"Thunder and Buddy, you will be missed severely," the post read. "A day will not go by that we will not look to your guide-on's on the wall and think of all the amazing rides."

(1) comment


I've seen SSG Buddy and Thunder during various 1st CAV demonstrations and performances. They were valuable assets and they'll be missed. However, human warriors fall, and the Army rolls on. I'm looking forward to who picks up the baton upon the passing of SSG Buddy (the flying canine) and Thunder (the wonder horse).

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